NEWS | Aug. 18, 2021

U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers Support Exercise Forager on Guam

By Walter Ham 20th CBRNE Command

ANDERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD) deployed to Guam for Exercise Forager July 10 – Aug. 6.

The “War Falcons” EOD Soldiers supported I Corps and their subordinate Multi-Domain Task Force and Task Force 1-52nd Aviation during the exercise.

On Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, 1st Lt. Ryan L. Rettig from the battalion’s 764th EOD Company served as the I Corps EOD officer and Staff Sgt. Daniel C. Lewis from the 62nd EOD Company was the I Corps EOD noncommissioned officer-in-charge.

EOD Team Leaders Staff Sgt. Philip M. Treon and Staff Sgt. Blake G. White, both from the 62nd EOD Company, provided response capabilities during live fire exercises.

Overcoming severe weather, the EOD technicians also helped to stabilize tents with sandbags following monsoon rains on Anderson Air Force Base.

According to Rettig, even though Exercise Forager was an operational mission for the battalion, the EOD Soldiers still participated in joint training.

“In keeping with the battalion mentality of ‘train all the time,’ we did coordinate for our own training during downtime,” said Rettig, a nine-year Army veteran. “The EOD team attended hostage rescue scenarios conducted between Navy EOD and U.S. Navy SEALs.”

Named after the allied operation that liberated the Marianas during World War II, Exercise Forager tested and refined U.S. Army Pacific’s ability to deliver and employ land power in support of allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region.

More than 4,000 American and allied service members participated in the month-long, multi-domain exercise, including troops from I Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Special Forces Group and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

The 242nd EOD Battalion is part of the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 71st EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command. From 19 installations in 16 states, 20th CBRNE Command Soldiers and civilians deploy around the world to confront and defeat everything from Weapons of Mass Destruction to unexploded ordnance.

The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-headquartered command is home to 75 percent of the U.S. Army’s EOD and CBRN forces as well as the CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, 1st Area Medical Laboratory, Nuclear Disablement Teams and WMD Coordination Teams.

Rettig said the highlight of Exercise Forager was integrating battalion and company EOD technicians into division and corps-level operations.

“EOD Soldiers truly demonstrated professionalism and resourcefulness coordinating with multiple other services and civilian entities to accomplish success,” said Rettig.